Campus Alert: Find the latest UMMS campus news and resources at

Page Menu

Absence Policy

Each clinical course has an internal policy regarding make-up for missed days, regardless of reason for absence (planned or unplanned). Make-up will be required of any student missing more than two days of any single Core Clinical Experiences clerkship or Advanced Studies Elective (or more than one day of Neurology), regardless of reason for absence (planned or unplanned). Make-up will also be required of any missed days containing key, required components of the course, regardless of the amount of missed time.  The course will be recorded as Incomplete until the required make-up is completed.  The make-up plans may vary based on course length, activities missed, and availability of additional supervision. Students must contact course directors with a request for time off at least 30 days in advance for all planned absences, and as soon as possible for any unplanned absences.  The course director will assign all make up activities, which may include additional projects or scheduling of additional clinical work.

Unplanned (Vital Needs) Absence Policy:

  • The Unplanned Absence Policy applies to all clinical rotations, including Core Clinical Experiences, required Advanced Studies courses, and Advanced Studies Electives.
  • Students will be excused for acute illness or personal emergency (e.g. to attend a funeral) by the clinical course director. To maintain student privacy, students may state they have an "illness", "family emergency" (which includes serious illness or death of a close family member), or a "medical appointment" and are not required to disclose details. However, students may be asked to provide documentation (e.g. a doctor’s note vouching for illness).
    • Note that childcare arrangements must be made for non-critical illness of children, school closures, etc., as these are not considered emergencies.
    • Students are expected to report to work in inclement weather.
  • Students must inform the clinical course director and their direct supervisors of the absence as soon as possible.
  • For chronic illness issues, please refer to the ADA policy.
  • Any required make-up will be at the discretion of the clinical course director.
  • Unplanned Absences days will be reported to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs, who will track total number of days used.

Planned Absence Policy

  • The Planned Absence Policy applies to all clinical experiences, including Core Clinical Experiences, Sub-Internships, Interstitial Curriculum experiences, and Advanced Studies required and elective rotations.
  • Planned absences are for significant personal, professional or academic events (conferences, interviews, weddings, family events, etc.).  They are not to be used as study days, nor as vacation days.
  • A maximum of two planned absence days are allowed during the entire, collective course of the Core Clinical Experiences, Sub-Internships, and Interstitial Curriculum.
    • During the Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, OB/Gyn, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Surgery clerkships, students are allowed to use both of their planned absence days during a single clerkship.
    • During the Neurology clerkship, students are only allowed to use one of their planned absence days, given the short duration of the clerkship.
    • Beyond religious holidays already recognized by the School of Medicine, students are allowed two additional planned absence days for observance of other religious holidays, provided it is approved in advance by the Office of Student Affairs.
  • Planned absences are typically discouraged during Advanced Studies electives, due to the flexibility of the year and opportunity for time off between elective rotations. However, planned absences may be requested and approved at the discretion of the course director.
    • Planned absences may not exceed 2 days per 4-week rotation unless approved by the course director.
    • All planned absences may need to be made up with extra clinical time, either on a weekend or after the rotation, at the discretion of the course director.
  • Planned absence days must be approved by the course director and reported to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs, who will track total number of days used. Advance notice of at least 30 days is required for planned absences.
    • The course director will notify the student, clinical supervisors, and the Associate Dean for Student Affairs if the request is approved.
    • Approval for planned absences will not be granted if they impact key, required course components or if they create undue hardship for the course.
  • Students are requested to plan absences to minimize disruption of their clinical duties if possible. Medical appointments should be scheduled to minimize length of time away from clinical or classroom duties. A planned absence day should be used if routine medical appointment will cause student to miss the entire day. Students should review the ADA policy which may apply to students with frequent medical appointments due to chronic illness.


Applicability: All CCE and AS students

Responsibility: Clerkship Directors Committee

Date Revised:  June 6, 2016

EPC Approval:  TBD